The Parrish Collection as it looked in his residence Dormy House in Pine Valley, NJ before it came to Princeton in 1944.
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
Curator of Rare Books

Principal holdings are in the Morris L. Parrish Collection of Victorian Novelists.

The collection contains over 6,500 volumes, as well as many theatre programs, playbills, photographs, clippings, and other miscellanea. Parrish's goal was to assemble in both the English and the American first editions, in the original condition as issued, everything that a given author published. He was also interested in a high standard of condition for his books.

Many additions have been acquired since the M. Parrish collection came to the Library as a bequest in 1944.

Alexander Wainwright's article on the collection published in the Princeton University Library Chronicle for spring 2001 gives remarkable background about the collection.

The collection is an assemblage of author collections, consisting of books by: William Harrison Ainsworth (54+ items) James Matthew Barrie (237+) William Black (17+) The Brontes (198+) (i.e. Anne Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Jane Bronte, and Patrick Branwell Bronte) William Wilkie Collins (247+) Dinah Mulock Craik (139+) Marie Louise de la Ramee ("Ouida") (43+) Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (70+) Charles Dickens (567+) Charles Dodgson ("Lewis Carroll") (580+) George du Maurier (50+) "George Eliot" (i.e. Mary Ann Evans) (143+) Elizabeth Gaskell (60+) Thomas Hardy (320+) Thomas Hughes (92+) Charles Kingsley (188+) Charles Lever (73+) Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton (289+) Mary Maxwell (28+) George Meredith (150+) Charles Reade (196+) Walter Scott (42+) Robert Louis Stevenson (see separate entry in Guide for this author) William Makepeace Thackeray (320+) Anthony Trollope (399+) Frances Eleanor Trollope (2+) Frances Milton Trollope (23+) Thomas A. Trollope (18+) Ellen Wood (11+) Charlotte Yonge (12+)


Catalogues and checklists.

The holdings of the Parrish collection can be discovered in two ways. Each method has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages as summarized in the following table.




PDF files for all printed holdings of all author collections making up the whole Parrish collection

Current only through December 2000. Although it lists all items, it does not give the LC call numbers for those items in the LC call number series.

Online catalogue records

Current through the present but only for those books in the LC call number series (about 20% of the entire collection.) — Call numbers for books assigned such can only be had by consulting the online catalogue record. — LC call numbers are not in the PDF files.



The earliest systematic recordings of the collection date to the checklist of the collection which was compiled in 1944 by Mr. Parrish's librarian entitled The Library of Morris L. Parrish. A Catalogue in Typescript of the Collection as of October 20, 1944. A copy of the checklist has been temporarily catalogued by the Princeton University Library. Continuing the 1944 list is Additions to the Morris L. Parrish Collection of Victorian Novelists. Printed Items. Xerox checklist made and bound December 1978.

A typescript catalogue of printed material in the collection was prepared between December 1978 and June 1981, the catalogue (1000+ pages) and was scheduled for publication by University Publications of America sometime during the 1980's. Not a bibliography, the catalogue provides readers with descriptive information about holdings in the collection not available in the Public Catalogue.

Superceding the above mentioned lists is the 'virtual' printed catalogue viewable this URL These PDF pages were prepared by Alexander Wainwright from the pages drafted by an assistant, Sybille Weiner, between 1978 and 1981.

It should also be mentioned that during the years ca 1949 and ca. 1975, Alexander Wainwright prepared catalogue cards for a number of the books, perhaps, as many as 70% up to ca. 1975. These very brief and usually not too informative cards are viewable in the supplementary catalogue here. (Adviso: actual card images are only viewable to those with a Princeton IP.)

General references.

For particulars on the growth of the Collection between 1944 and 1956 refer to: Alexander D. Wainwright, "The Morris L. Parrish Collection of Victorian Novelists: A Summary Report and an Introduction," in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XVII, 2 (Winter, 1956) pp. 59-67 [full text] .

The Princeton University Library Chronicle devoted two entire issues to this collection (VIII, 1, November 1946 [full text] and XVII, 2, Winter 1956 [full text] ). Articles on aspects of Kingsley, Dickens, Hardy, Trollope, etc.

For further particulars refer to: A Victorian Anthology. Books, Manuscripts, and Other Material from the Morris L. Parrish Collection of Victorian Novelists. A Catalogue of an Exhibition in the Princeton University Library. Princeton, 1955. The exhibition featured 20 of the authors within the Parrish collection [(ExB) 0639.739 no. 14] [full text] .

Details of Holdings and References.

1. Ainsworth, William Harrison, (1805-1882)


There are 54+ volumes found within the Parrish Collection. Details about Cruikshank's illustations for Ainsworth can be found in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XXXV, 1&2 (Autumn and Winter, 1973-74) pp. 15, 17-19, 24, 83, 108 ff., 144-146, 183 and 221 [full text].


2. Barrie, Sir James Matthew, (1860-1937)


About 250 volumes. Details may be found in: Walter Beinecke Jr., "Barrie in the Parrish Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XVII, 2 (Winter, 1956) pp. 96-98 [full text] .


3. Bronte Family


A sizable section of the Parrish collection, with more than 585 volumes. Ninety-eight volumes are books from the libraries of the Brontes.


See Morris L. Parrish. Victorian Lady Novelists. (London, 1933) (Ex) 04705.692


4. Bulwer-Lytton, Edward (1803-1873)


Included in the Parrish Collection, this gathering of first editions by Bulwer-Lytton and material relating to him, is among the largest and finest known. The collection at Princeton includes all 66 English first editions as well as more than 40 first American editions.


There are about 300 separate items in the collection. Some of the rarer are: 1. Ishmael (1820). A slender pamphlet of his earliest poems published privately by his mother when he was 17. 2. Weeds and Wildflowers (Paris, 1826). Also privately published. 3. Falkland. An excellent copy of the author's first published novel. 4. The Last Days of Pompeii.

For particulars refer to: Sarah Dickson, "The Bulwer-Lytton Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle VIII, 1 (November, 1946) pp. 28-32 [full text] .


5. Carroll, Lewis (1832-1898)


For particulars refer to: Warren Weaver, "The Parrish Collection of Carrolliana" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XVII, 2 (Winter, 1956) pp. 85-91 [full text] . The collection includes some 580 volumes. The collection contains not only the books published under the name Lewis Carroll, but also the more scholarly works and mathematical treatises published under the name Charles L. Dodgson.


See, as well, the following catalogues prepared by Parrish, based on his collection. Morris L. Parrish. List of the Writings of Carroll Collected by Morris L. Parrish (Pine Valley, N.J., 1928) and Supplementary List (Pine Valley, N.J., 1933).


6. Collins, Wilkie (1824-1889)


About 250 volumes. Containing the first English edition of every novel Collins wrote, as well as authorized American first editions. (Pirated American editions are lacking in some cases.) Also rich in posters, cartoons, clippings, pamphlets and offprints.


Refer to: Robert P. Ashley, "The Wilkie Collins Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XVII, 2 (Winter, 1956) pp. 81-84 [full text] .


7. Dickens, Charles (1812-1870)


Includes 600 items. The major novels are present including many sets of the original issues. Very rich in American editions, and also includes books about Dickens.


Refer to: Gordon Hall Gerould, "The Dickens Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle VIII, 1 (November, 1946) pp.21-23 [full text] . Gerould's article gives more detail about the various editions of the works. See also: Morris L. Parrish. A List of the Writings of Charles Dickens. Philadelphia, 1938. See also: "Charles Dickens" [first editions presented to the Library]" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XX, 3 (Summer, 1959) pp. 158-160 [full text] .


8. Eliot, George (1819-1880)


Most of the 150+ volumes both by and relating to George Eliot are catalogued. Also see: Morris L. Parrish. Victorian Lady Novelists (London, 1933) [(Ex) 04705.692].


9. Gaskell, Elizabeth (1810-1865)


About 60 volumes. For particulars refer to: Morris L. Parrish. Victorian Lady Novelists (London, 1933) [(Ex) 04705.692].


10. Hardy, Thomas (1840-1928)


Princeton has a virtually complete set of English and American first editions of the Wessex novels, most of the Hardy serials, & the collected works. More than 300 volumes. The collection is rounded out by bibliographies of Hardy's works and the significant biographical and critical studies.

Refer to: Glenn J. Christensen, "The Thomas Hardy Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle VIII, 1 (November, 1946) pp. 24-27 [full text] .

11. Kingsley, Charles (1819-1875)

The finest collection of the works of Charles Kingsley, including many first editions and first American editions. Almost 200 volumes.

For particulars refer to: Morris L. Parrish and B.K. Mann. Charles Kingsley and Thomas Hughes: First Editions in the Library of Dormy House (Pine Valley, N.J., 1936) as well as Margaret Farrand Thorp, "The Kingsley Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle VIII, 1 (November, 1946) pp. 18-20 [full text] .

12. Reade, Charles (1814-1884)

For particulars refer to: Robert B. Martin, "The Reade Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XVII, 2 (Winter, 1956) pp. 77-80 [full text] . The article describes briefly some of the items in one of the finest Reade collection ever assembled. Almost 200 volumes.

13. Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850-1894)

Almost 700 volumes total. For particulars refer to: [Alexander Wainwright]. Robert Louis Stevenson A Catalogue of the Henry E. Gerstley Stevenson Collection, of the Stevenson Section of the Morris L. Parrish Collection of Victorian Novelists and Items from Other Collections of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in the Princeton University Library (Princeton, 1971) [(ExB) Z8843 .P95]. Note that this catalogue is available as a PDF file here.

The Henry van Dyke collection of the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson contributed to the holdings on Stevenson, as well as the first editions received from Henry Gerstley (nearly 70 volumes). For details see: "Robert Louis Stevenson" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XIV, 2 (Winter, 1953) p.105 [full text] . Also see: David A. Randall, "The Stevenson Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XXVII, 2 (Winter, 1956) pp. 92-95 [full text] . Article surveys the Stevenson collection in the Parrish collection.

14. Thackeray, William Makepeace (1811-1863)

The Library Company of Philadelphia exhibited a selection of the Parrish material in 1940, at which time a privately printed catalogue was compiled. Over 300 volumes in the collection. The importance of the Parrish Thackeray collection lies in its depth.

Refer to: Robert F. Metzdorf, "M.L. Parrish and William Makepeace Thackeray" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XVII, 2 (Winter, 1956) pp. 68-70 [full text] .

15. Trollope, Anthony (1815-1882)

Collection has virtually every publication; first editions and many variants, English and American. All periodicals that contained stories or articles by Trollope, many of which were never reprinted. More than 400 volumes are catalogued.

For particulars refer to: Robert H. Taylor '30, "The Trollope Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle VIII, 1 (November 1946) pp. 33-37 [full text] .

An exhibition entitled "A Great Victorian: Anthony Trollope, 1815- 1882" was shown in the Gould Gallery of Firestone Library during 1982-83. The gathering of more than 200 items came entirely from the Parrish Collection and that of Robert H. Taylor. (Checklist of the exhibition was prepared by Richard M. Ludwig and Alexander D. Wainwright in December, 1982, [(ExB) 0639.739 no. 42] [full text] .


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